As we get older, fall prevention becomes a much more serious concern. As our bodies recover more slowly from injuries and sickness, falls can often inflict injuries ranging from the inconvenient to the outright deadly. This makes it vitally important that caregivers become acquainted with ways to minimize the danger.
Not only is there a wide range of home safety products — such as tub bars and bath lifts to aid in getting into and out of the bath safely — but also a number of online resources that provide tips for making the immediate environment safer as well.
The Fall Prevention Project at Temple University is one such resource. While the website itself is not much to look at, it is full of useful information published in a many different languages including English, Spanish, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, French, Chinese, and Vietnamese.
The Fall Prevention Project is a federally funded and directed by Roberta A. Newton, Professor of Physical Therapy and Professor of Medicine at Temple University. Its objective is to educate and inform educators, older adults, and health care professionals about falls and their causes. In addition, the project’s focus is on ways to prevent falls in the older age groups through communication of rehabilitative, assessment, and health promotion measures.
It has even spawned a side program, HEROS, which stands for Health, Education, Research, and Outreach for Seniors. Among other things, there is a HEROS training manual — “Reducing Falls and Serious Injuries” (PDF). Here’s a description of its contents from the Temple University website:
This training manual is an outgrowth of the Fall Prevention Program. The intent of the manual is to assist health professional trainers and health professional trainees with knowledge and skills to provide a quick fall risk screen to community dwelling older adults, knowledge about intervention programs that have been shown to be effective, and materials to develop educational programs for community dwelling older adults.
The links page with fall prevention and aging resources is a solid starting point, including information from the CDC, Lighthouse International, and AARP, among many others.
Another useful website is the Home Safety Council. In addition to an array of safety videos, the site also hosts a newsletter, a personalized safety checklist, and a full set of active forums where you can share safety concerns and solutions with other seniors and caregivers.
Take precautions, it’s worth it!
Source: “The Fall Prevention Project And HEROS,” College of Health Professionals Temple University
Source: “Older Adults Safety,” Home Safety Council
Image by Home Safety Council, used under Fair Use: Reporting.